True Love!

On this Valentine's Day I thought I would share one of my favorite portions of scripture on the topic of Love (I love "The Message" version- but look up other versions- amazing). I think we have made Valentine's day a little bit of a cheesy celebration of love, where people who have a "Valentine" get to celebrate and those who don't are maybe a little bitter, maybe a little sad, maybe a little depressed, maybe they don't care about it, maybe a little lonely, or maybe they celebrate friendship and life. I know I have experienced all of those emotions on any given Valentine's Day. It is very rare for my husband to be home on Valentine's day (as we speak, I am getting ready for Kid fest because he is out of town), so I still go through the emotions of...not feeling so "special" on this "special day". What I want to do, and encourage ALL of us to do, is to celebrate TRUE love that we ALL have eternal access to! I hope ALL of you have someone to say "I Love You" to and someone who will tell you they love you- but always remember, you have a creator who loves you enough to send His only son to die for you and His very definition is "Love" (GOD IS LOVE)- He loves you whether you love him or not....unconditionally. So let's celebrate THAT today and lets teach our kids that God's love is a love worth celebrating- whether they have a "valentine" or not!! We have a great opportunity on V-day to show our kids what TRUE love is!! Happy Valentine's Day!    {Print above from Dear Lillie}

1 John 4:7-21
The Message (MSG)
My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can’t know him if you don’t love. This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God.
My dear, dear friends, if God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other. No one has seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us, and his love becomes complete in us—perfect love!
This is how we know we’re living steadily and deeply in him, and he in us: He’s given us life from his life, from his very own Spirit. Also, we’ve seen for ourselves and continue to state openly that the Father sent his Son as Savior of the world. Everyone who confesses that Jesus is God’s Son participates continuously in an intimate relationship with God. We know it so well, we’ve embraced it heart and soul, this love that comes from God.
God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry on Judgment Day—our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love.
 We, though, are going to love—love and be loved. First we were loved, now we love. He loved us first.

If anyone boasts, “I love God,” and goes right on hating his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won’t love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can’t see? The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You’ve got to love both.

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